Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                             Dated:9th August,2019

Disability rights now to be part of MBBC curriculum
New Delhi: For the first time in India, disability rights will be part of the MBBS curriculum. When medical colleges commence their new academic session, they will offer a one-month foundation course on disability to be completed by August 31, as reported in the Times of India. The Court of State Commissioner for Persons with Disability directed the inclusion of components of disability rights legislations in the curriculum of medical courses, and Medical Council of India (MCI) has released details of the foundation course involving seven hours of disability competencies to be conducted throughout the country.

In November 2018, MCI released the new competency-based medical education curriculum but it did not have anything on disability rights. Its focus was instead on medical models of disabilities — an illness or disability as the result of a physical condition.

Medical Humanities Group, DU’s University College of Medical Studies and Bucksbaum Institute for Medical Excellence at the University of Chicago were preparing a disability competencies, involving the three stakeholders — doctors with disabilities, disability rights activists and health professional educators. On March 1, they complained to both the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) and State Commissioner for Persons with Disability (SCD) that the new MCI curriculum was lacking a disability rights-based approach. “These statutory bodies forwarded our curriculum to MCI’s board of governors, which circulated the copy of our disability competencies to deans and principals of medical institutions in India and the registrars of all universities and deemed universities in India asking them to strictly follow Section 39 (1) and 39 (2)(d) of the Rights of People with Disabilities Act, 2016. But they still didn’t include disability competencies in the new curriculum,” said Dr Satendra Singh of University College of Medical Science. The sub-sections enjoin the government to create awareness about the rights of the disabled and to orient students of educational institutions to these rights.

The group sent a rejoinder on the absence of the disability rights competencies to CCPD. Singh said that following this, the “Reconciliation Board of MCI contacted us to submit our disability competencies to be concluded in one month of a mandatory foundation course.” On July 17, MCI released the details of the August 1-31 foundation course based on disability competencies.

Some definitions related to tobacco and other common addictions
Here is a list of definitions of various terms related to tobacco and other common addictions as to what do they actually mean. This will help to understand the nuances between the various terminologies. You are welcome to add to this list.

Smoke is produced as a result of combustion (temperature > 800o C). When combustion occurs, new chemicals are formed via the process of oxidation. Hence, smoke contains several new chemicals different from those initially burned. Smoke can be produced by burning coal, wood, cigarettes, bidis, etc.....read more

FAQs on National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019 (Part 2)
Almost 75% of total seats in the country would be available at reasonable fees

There is a concern that medical education will become expensive with the formation of NMC. Here, the government has tried to allay this concern as below. According to the government, almost 75% of total seats in the country would be available at reasonable fees.

“Clause 10(1) (i): Fee regulation

“IMC Act, 1956 has no provision for regulation of fees. As a result, some states regulate the fees of some seats in private colleges through MoUs signed with college managements. In addition, the Supreme Court has set up committees chaired by retired High Court Judges to fix fees in private colleges as an interim measure. Deemed to be Universities claim that they are not covered by these committees......read more

Music as a Drug
Our body is the largest pharmaceutical group in the world and has the capacity to heal each and every disease. The very fact that there is a receptor for every drug in the body means that the body has the capacity to produce that drug. Music is one such modality, which can heal by initiating various chains of chemical reactions in the body.

  Chanting vowels produces interleukin-2 in the body, which works like a painkiller.

  Chanting nasal consonants produces tranquilizers in the body.....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Health ministry sets target to reduce HIV cases by 2020
ET Healthworld/ANI- Priyanka Sharma

New Delhi: With an aim to bring down incidence of HIV/AIDS by 20,000 per year for the next two years, the Union Health Ministry is reaching out to targeted areas like prisons and women remand homes as cases in these places are much higher as compared to the general population, said a senior Health Ministry official. As of now, there are about 2.1 million patients suffering from the disease, however, only 1.3 million are registered with Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres and getting the treatment as per the National Aids Control Organization (NACO), said the official adding that there is so much of social stigma around it that people don't come out openly for the treatment. "We have to develop a system of identifying patients and reaching out to the targeted areas like prisons and women remand homes because cases here are 5 to 6 times more than that among general population. We are working on it and screening patients in these areas and giving them appropriate treatment," the official said. Apart from this, the ministry has directed all private and government medical colleges to operationalise Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centres in their respective institutes for the treatment of HIV patients.

India’s Epharmacy Rules: What’s The Holdup, Patna High Court Asks
Inc 42 – Bhumika Khatri

As the epharmacy players continue to service despite unclear regulatory procedures, the Patna High Court has taken a strict cognizance of the delay and sought response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the same. In a hearing on July 31, the Patna High Court bench of Justice Jyoti Saran And Justice Partha Sarthy noted that the changes in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 framed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 had been introduced in August last year. The amendments and objections was to be disposed of within 45 days, however, this hasn’t yet been done. The court also said that the ministry has shown no inclination of attaching finality to such rules. Rajesh Kumar Verma, the assistant solicitor general had informed the court that the matter is yet pending for consideration before the Ministry. The court then directed the secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to inform the court as to why the draft rules remains in the draft situation and what is the impediment in giving it a final shape. The next hearing has been scheduled for August 19. Notified in September 2018, the draft epharmacy rules note that those selling drugs and cosmetics online, have to obtain licences in the manner prescribed, within a period of two months from the date of notification.

India Medical Association Defers Strike Against NMC Bill
News 18 - PTI

The IMA on Wednesday said it has deferred its August 8 strike against the National Medical Commission Bill to a later date after receiving "certain clarifications and assurances" from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The India Medical Association said in a statement the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, heavy floods in the northeast, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other parts, as well as the death of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, was taken into consideration to postpone the strike. The doctors' body appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to withhold assent until the "dangers to the health of the nation" accruing from several sections of the bill are addressed. The bill proposes to replace the Medical Commission of India with a National Medical Commission to regulate all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions. But doctors say some sections in the bill, unless amended, will deteriorate medical education and degrade healthcare services. IMA said its delegation recently met Vardhan and "in view of certain clarifications and assurances given by him and considering the prevailing situation" in Jammu and Kashmir, floods and Swaraj's demise, it has deferred its call for withdrawal of services to a later date. It also said there is a need for further dialogue and creating awareness about hazards of certain provisions of NMC Bill.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics may kill 10 million people in 2050: Delhi IPA survey
Pharmabiz India – Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

A survey conducted by the Students Forum of the Delhi branch of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) estimates that if indiscriminate use of antibiotics is continued, 10 million patients using antibiotics may lose their lives worldwide by 2050. Alarmingly, this increase in the death rate will be higher than the deaths caused by cancer. The survey study was conducted by the students forum on the direction of the Community Division of the IPA and it included a programme on ‘antibiotic resistance awareness’ among the educated and uneducated people in rural and urban areas. The study reveals that responsible use of antibiotics can reduce the bacterial antibiotic resistance. To cope up with this dreadful situation, appropriate actions are needed on all levels including those of national and international health authorities. The students conducted the study in the form of a questionnaire based survey. Through this questionnaire they tried to observe the amount of awareness in common people regarding proper use of antibiotics and risk of antibiotics due to their over-use. The questions asked were like frequency of antibiotic taken, source from which antibiotic was obtained, if they ever self-prescribed an antibiotic, completion of antibiotic therapy as per doctor’s advice etc.

Ayush ministry directs state licensing authorities to consider and accept stability data for ASU drugs
Pharmabiz India – Shardul Nautiyal

Union Ayush Ministry has directed all state licensing authorities to consider and accept accelerated stability study data for fixing the shelf life of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) drugs. This is in accordance with Rule 161-B of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules 1945 for the purpose of grant and renewal of license. The purpose of stability testing is to provide evidence on how the quality of a drug varies with time under the influence of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and light. While accelerated stability study stipulates that the drug has to be tested for its stability under the controlled 40 degree centigrade and relative humidity of 75, real time stability study stipulates that the drug has to be tested for its stability under the controlled 30 degree centigrade and relative humidity of 65. As per the notice, this direction is in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 33P of the D&C Act, 1940 and in consultation with Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy, Government of India (GoI). Therefore, all state ASU licensing authorities, all state drug controllers, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), all state directors of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) and all ASU drug manufacturers associations have been directed to comply with the same.

Saudi Arabia sacks doctors with Pakistani MS/MD degrees, other Arab countries follow suit
India Today

Saudi Arabia and a few other Arab countries have rejected Pakistan's MS/MD postgraduate programme, making Pakistani doctors no longer eligible to work in the country, a Dawn report said on Wednesday. According to the report, the move has left hundreds of highly qualified Pakistani doctors jobless. A lot of them, who are in Saudi Arabia, have been sacked or told to be ready for deportation. After Saudi Arabia's decision, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain followed suit. The Saudi health ministry reportedly claimed Pakistan's MS (Master of Surgery) and MD (Doctor of Medicine) programmes lacked structured training programme which is a mandatory requirement to hire medics for higher positions. Termination letters were issued to several doctors by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) saying their applications for professional qualification have been rejected as the Pakistani degree is not acceptable according to its regulations, the report said.